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“A Wisconsin company is offering to implant tiny radio-frequency chips in its employees – and it says they are lining up for the technology,” according to Merrit Kennedy’s recent NPR article entitled “Wisconsin Company Offers To Implant Chips In Its Employees.”
Kennedy writes that “the idea is a controversial one, confronting issues at the intersection of ethics and technology by essentially turning bodies into bar codes. Three Square Market, also called 32M, says it is the first U.S. company to provide the technology to its employees.”
“The company manufactures self-service ‘micro markets’ for office break rooms. It said in a press release that obtaining a chip is optional, but expects that about 50 employees will take part,” explains the NPR piece.
Kennedy continues, “Employees who have the rice-grain-sized RFID chip implanted between their thumb and forefinger can then use it ‘to make purchases in their break room micro market, open doors, login to computers, use the copy machine,’ 32M said.”
According to the article, “CEO Todd Westby said that the company believes the technology will soon be ubiquitous.”
Here’s the quote from Kennedy’s article:
"We foresee the use of RFID technology to drive everything from making purchases in our office break room market, opening doors, use of copy machines, logging into our office computers, unlocking phones, sharing business cards, storing medical/health information, and used as payment at other RFID terminals. Eventually, this technology will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc."
“The company is immediately facing questions about safety and privacy – for example, whether the technology could be used in invasive ways, like tracing employee whereabouts and monitoring the length of breaks,” the article explains.
From an innovation perspective, the chip technology is impressive to us. It’s a form of Body Hacking.
But, that’s not what moved us to write about it. Its potential application for employee tracking provoked us.
We’re here to tell you implanting chips in your staff, in our opinion, might be overkill.
Because if you feel the need to do so, you probably want to rethink Proactive Operations throughout your operation first.
You have other, less invasive, ‘technology’ options. Let’s start with those.
We get it; you have accountability problems.
But, implanting your employees isn’t the answer. Why?
You probably need to look at the way you're running your operation before you escalate your accountability initiative.
Do you see where we’re going here?
You might find that the root of your accountability problems is with your team, specific employees, technology, or worse, you.
We know that’s a big pill to swallow, but it’s the reality.
What have you done to address it? Nothing?
That’s not good, but we’ll get through it.
Keep reading; you need to start with Proactive Operations.
Responsibility becomes an issue when there’s no way or one tracking it.
You need a way to manage it, and you need policies for your employees to follow.
Many operations expect their staff to just ‘be accountable,’ but don’t offer any realistic guidelines. There’s too much ambiguity here.
They don’t enforce proper policies either. (Do you?)
But you can counter this deficiency using Proactive Operations.
Employing Proactive Operations eliminates that ambiguity shared amongst reactive organizations.
By removing people and process errors from the picture, you’ll fix accountability issues naturally.
Now everything is streamlined, which means current and future problems will surface quickly.
Then, you can focus on what really matters – the safety and experience of your customers.
You might’ve already noticed this: accountability problems are the consequence of being a reactive operation. These organizations worry about what they believe to be the problem before looking at their strategy, infrastructure, and technology.
You can do this. Be proactive, and then see what or who the real culprit is.
So, are you ready to tackle your accountability problems to avoid implanting chips in your employees?